Freshman pitcher propels Clemson past Gamecocks

Freshman righthander Clate Schmidt allowed just two runs on five hits in 7.0 innings pitched to lead Clemson to a 6-3 win over #7 South Carolina in front of 7,125 fans at Fluor Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers, who evened the series 1-1, improved to 6-3 on the season.  The Gamecocks fell to 7-2 in 2013.

Head Coach Jack Leggett recorded his 1,230th win in 34 seasons as a head coach, tying Jim Dietz for 13th place all-time in victories as a Division I head coach.

Schmidt (2-0), making just his second career start, gave up only five hits, two runs, and three walks with five strikeouts in 7.0 innings pitched to earn the win.  Matt Campbell pitched the final 2.0 innings with three strikeouts to record his third save of the season.

Starter Colby Holmes (1-1) yielded eight hits, five runs, and one walk with three strikeouts in 4.2 innings pitched.  Adam Westmoreland pitched 4.1 innings in relief and surrendered only three hits, one unearned run, and no walks with seven strikeouts.

The Tigers dented the scoreboard first in the second inning with two runs.  Steven Duggar led off with a single to right-center and scored on Garrett Boulware’s double to left-center.  After Boulware advanced to third on Jon McGibbon’s groundout to second, Jay Baum reached on an infield single on an 0-2 pitch as Boulware held at third base.  Tyler Krieger then ripped a single through the right side to plate Boulware.

In the fifth inning, Krieger and Brittle hit one-out singles to put runners at the corners.  Two batters later with two outs, Steve Wilkerson grounded a single through the left side to score Krieger and extend his hitting streak to 10 games dating to 2012.  After Shane Kennedy walked on eight pitches to load the bases, Duggar came through with a single up the middle to score Brittle and Wilkerson, giving Clemson a 5-0 lead.

The Gamecocks put two runs on the scoreboard in the sixth inning thanks to two solo home runs.  Max Schrock belted a homer to right field, his first career long ball.  Schmidt had pitched 12.0 innings without allowing a run in 2013.  LB Dantzler followed with a towering homer to right-center, his fourth long ball of the season.

Dante Rosenberg led off the seventh inning with a bloop single down the right-field line on an 0-2 pitch, then Rosenberg was retired at second on TJ Costen’s fielder’s choice.  Tanner English followed with a walk, then Graham Saiko grounded out to short to advance both runners into scoring position.  But Schmidt struck out Chase Vergason to end the inning and keep Clemson ahead 5-2.

In the eighth inning, back-to-back two-out doubles down the left-field line by Joey Pankake and Grayson Greiner pulled the Gamecocks to within two runs.

Clemson added an insurance run in the ninth inning when Brittle flared a two-out single to right field to score Baum, who had reached on a single and moved to second on a passed ball.

Brittle, Duggar, Baum, and Krieger had two hits apiece to pace Clemson’s 11-hit attack.  Duggar added a game-high two RBIs.

Rosenberg had a team-high two hits for the Gamecocks, who totaled seven hits in the contest.

Clemson and South Carolina will conclude their weekend series at Carolina Stadium in Columbia on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

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